Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Winter’ Category

Taking a baking sheet full of hot cookies out of the oven beats opening a package of cookies, every time!
If you didn’t notice it until now, I love simple recipes, it doesn’t appeal to me to bake a cake that calls for 8 hours in the oven or that is so complicated you must follow a long list of specific directions. I like simple and delicious food, now that being said, I don’t mind working hard for good food, I just believe that a difficult recipe does not necessarily produce a good meal.
With those intentions I decided to bake some molasses cookies today, and as soon as the word cookies left me mouth and reached the ears of Tacuma, he started jumping up and down. That’s it, there is no going back now…

* The recipe below is modified from a few different recipes I found online, Martha’s recipe and Brenda hall’s were the most influential.

Ingredients.

  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted
  • 1 cup unrefined sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup  sugar

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, 1 cup sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the molasses. In a bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger; blend into the molasses mixture. Cover, and chill dough for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Roll dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until tops are cracked. Cool on wire racks.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

For my birthday last week, I got a sweet cook book from my close friends  R and N: “Essentials of French Cooking” that is divided by the regions of France, and has an incredible selection of recipes, with classics like Coq au Vin,  Beef Bourguignon and Tart Tatin, as well as less known dishes like Blue Cheese and Walnut soufflé and Sausage and Choucroute (sauerkraut). Everything in this book looks amazing and everything calls for a lot of butter!! Today I finally decided to stop drooling over the pictures and cook a recipe from it. Looking at the selection of available produce in my kitchen, I decided to use the potatoes, I bought a hand-full of blue potatoes about a week ago and a fresh load of Yukons yesterday, and it was time to make something out of them.
Pommes Anna- Anna’s potatoes, is a potato gratin named after Anna Deslions by the Cafe des Anglais in Paris, it is tasty and easy and looks beautiful.
Bon Apetit!

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 oz/ 75 g)unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 lb (750g) potatoes
  • salt and fresh black pepper

Directions:

  1. preheat the oven to 375° F (19o° C). Coat a 9″ (23-cm) pie pan with 1 tablespoon of butter
  2. peel the potatoes, rinse and dry. Using the thin slicing blade on a mandolin or a sharp knife cut the potatoes into slices 1/8 ” (3mm) thick.
  3. in a sauce pan melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter until in foams and set aside.
  4. arrange some of the potatoes in a single layer in the prepared pan, overlapping them just slightly. lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with the melted butter. Repeat the layering process with the rest of the potatoes.
  5. bake in the oven until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork and the top is crisp and golden, 45-60 minutes, transfer to a wire rack and let stand for 5 minutes.
  6. run a knife around the edge of the pan, then place a plate over the top and invert the pan and plate together to unmold.

Since I didn’t use 1 1/2 lb of potatoes they didn’t go all the way to the top of the pan, which made it very hard to invert and unmold, I did, however, use a cake pan that opens with a spring, and simply opened it up and transfer the whole thing to a serving dish.

Read Full Post »

As the weather in NY drops below the freezing point, soups seems to be the only natural thing to eat.
I was told by my acupuncturist yesterday that I need to push out something that is still external , but may become internal if left untreated, and so I should eat a lot of Miso. According to Chinese tradition exterior diseases first affect the body surfaces that are exposed directly to the environment – the skin, the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, and lungs. The most prevalent exterior conditions are the common cold and flu, the sooner ones notices these conditions and take action, the more likely their interior progress can be reversed. Food that promotes sweating is recommended for treating such conditions – miso soup, ginger and peppermint tea are my favorite remedies.

Miso is a fermented soybean paste thought to have originated in China some 2,500 years ago. It is made by combining cooked soybeans, mold, salt and various grains and then fermenting them together for six months to two years. There are three basic types of miso: soybean, barley and rice, and 40-50 other varieties. Each type has its own distinctive color and flavor.
Healing properties of miso: 13%-20% protein; it is a live food containing lactobacillus (the same in yogurt) that aids in digestion; it creates an alkaline condition in the body promoting resistance against disease. According to tradition, miso promotes long life and good health.
In my miso soup I like using a lot of ginger and scallions, along with kombu, wakame, tofu and shiitake.
Kombu (kelp) –  moistens dryness; increases yin fluids; softens hardened areas and masses in the body; helps transform heat induced phlegm; benefits kidneys; diuretic; anti-coagulant effect on the blood; is a natural fungicide; relieves coughing and asthma; soothes the lungs and throat; eradicates fungal and candida yeast overgrowths.
Wakame
– diuretic; transforms and resolves phlegm; high in calcium; rich in niacin and thiamine; promotes healthy hair and skin; soften hardened tissue and masses; tonifies the yin fluids; used in Japanese tradition to purify the mother’s blood after childbirth.
Tofu – benefits the lungs and large intestine; relieves inflammation in the stomach; neutralizes toxins.
Shiitake

What a healthy, cold fighting soup this is going to be!
*most of this information is based on the book “healing with whole foods” by Paul Pritchard
Miso soup recipe
Ingredients:

  • 10-12 cups of chicken stock or water – I prefer using chicken stock, got to give grandma’s remedies some credit too.
  • about 2-3 tablespoons of dark miso
  • 1/4 cup dry Wakame, soaked in 2 cups of water
  • 1 big piece of Kombu, cut into small chunks (use scissors)
  • 1/2 pack of tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon of bonito (or any other) dry fish flakes, optional
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • ginger, at least 3-5 inch long, peeled and sliced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 10 shiitake mushrooms, leg removed, cut in 4

Directions:

  1. in a soup pot, sautee garlic onion and ginger for about 4-5 minutes
  2. add wakame and the liquid it was soaked in and stir
  3. add mushrooms, 3/4 of scallions, kombu, tofu, bonito fish flakes and chicken stock
  4. bring to a boil and reduce to simmer, cook for about 30 minutes
  5. add miso, stir and cook for 10 more minutes
  6. serve hot with fresh scallions on top
  7. optional addition: hard-boiled or fried egg is a delicious addition to this soup.

*Miso, Kombu, Wakame and Bonito flakes can be found in Chinese or Japanese supermarkets.

Read Full Post »

December 7th was my birthday, I am now 28 years young!
My lovely lover Tacuma, arranged a wonderful surprise party in our house and cooked up a delicious sit down dinner to 17 of my good friends and family.
In my celebratory excitement I didn’t take any pictures, I will tell you, however, that he made some unbelievable lamb chops, two whole roasted chickens, green cauliflower casserole, mac and cheese, and with some help from our friends we also had a green salad, bok-choy, some cucumber-lemon-lime sake and mulled wine, and for dessert a strawberry shortcake and biscotti. What a feast!!!

Thank you friends for coming and celebrating the day I came to be and thank you Tacuma for being in my life. I love you all !

Read Full Post »

When food that I love is in season I buy it all the time and I try to cook all sorts of dished with it. Chestnuts, as I mentioned before, are high up on my “favorites” list, they are great in savory dishes, desserts and also just roasted with nothing but salt. Their rich and creamy texture is delightful and when I have some around I can’t stop eating them. For the last few weeks I have been buying them in abundance with the intention of roasting, peeling and freezing them so I can have some even when the season is over. I say “with the intention” because the truth of the matter is that I have been cooking them more then I have been saving them, and there is nothing wrong with that, especially if the result is dishes like this one.

This recipe comes from a book by the Israeli chef: Israel Aharoni.

Ingredients: serves 6

  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 6 chicken legs, separated to thigh and drumstick
  • 1 onion, diced roughly
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • fresh ginger about 1 inch long, chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • salt and fresh black pepper
  • 500 gr Chestnuts – in the recipe he uses jarred chestnuts, I used them fresh, roasted for 30 minutes and peeled.

Directions:

  1. In a wok, heat up the oil, Sautée the chicken and brown it nicely on all sides. Remove from wok and put aside
  2. add the onion, garlic and ginger to the oil and Sautée for 5 minutes
  3. place chicken back in the wok and add soy sauce, wine, sugar, salt and pepper, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer
  4. cover and simmer for 30 minutes
  5. add chestnuts, stir and cook for another 20-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and the chestnuts are soft

Easy and delicious.

You can serve this with rice or quinoa, I used couscous, hand rolled by my grandmother, Miriam, who I believe is one of the only people that still hand roll their couscous. It is a long, long process but you will never hear her complain, and I won’t complain either, it is the best couscous one can eat, and I am thankful to still have 1/2 a pound in my freezer.

Bon appetit!

Read Full Post »

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and so I will have an excuse to use my new KItchenaid I made my first squash pie yesterday.

Squash and pumpkin pies are not as popular in Israel as they are here, in face the first time I had one was probably two or three years ago. Needless to say I fell in love immediately and now that I know how easy it is to make I finally have an excuse to buy all sort of funky looking pumpkins and squashes.

yum.

Below is the recipe, modified from a pumpkin pie recipe, found on Allrecipes.com

Ingredients (makes 2 pies)

  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 3 cups mashed, roasted butternut squash
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Prepare pie crust by mixing together the flour and salt. Cut shortening into flour, add 1 tablespoon water to mixture at a time. Mix dough and repeat until dough is moist enough to hold together.
  3. With lightly floured hands shape dough into a ball. On a lightly floured board roll dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. With a sharp knife, cut dough 1 1/2 inch larger than the upside down 8 to 9 inch pie pan. Gently roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer it right side up on to the pie pan. Unroll, ease dough into the bottom of the pie pan.
  4. In a large bowl with mixer speed on medium, beat squash with evaporated milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix well. Pour into a prepared crust. Bake 40 minutes or until when a knife is inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts